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December 3rd, 2016

Why I Don’t Run

By G. E. Shuman
I have never been a runner. In fact, I’m not even a fast walker, and I never have been. When I was a child I probably used to run, I think, or, maybe not. I remember once telling a young friend that I tried running, and didn’t like it. He laughed. Truthfully, I have used that line throughout adulthood, too, and it still gets a laugh. Also, truthfully, it still applies. Of course, I have nothing against running, and I would do it if I had to, to save someone from danger, but if I did, no one would know it was me because no one has ever seen that before. Also, I have a feeling it wouldn’t be pretty. No, I don’t run. A city council friend of mine recently even asked me to run for local political office, and I won’t even do that.

I don’t consider myself to be slothful, or lazy, which I guess are the same thing. I’m just not fast moving, and see no reason to be. Yes, I’m now in my 60’s, but that’s not why I am how I am. Like I said, I have never been too ‘swift’, so to speak. George Burns once said that he could do anything in his old age that he could do at 18. He then continued with: “That just shows how pathetic I was at 18.” George Shuman resembles that remark. Maybe it’s something to do with the first name. I don’t know. As far as the subject of hurrying goes, I am not alone. A few years ago one of my ‘present day’ friends, who happens to be about my age, told me, and I quote: “I don’t mind leaving early, but just don’t rush me.” I resemble that remark, too.

Many people of my generation, myself included, have written about the old notion of stopping to smell the roses, and of how we should slow down and appreciate things more. Some of that attitude might, indeed, come through the process of aging. Many young people seem to always be in a hurry, have little patience for people not moving at their speed, and, I think, also couldn’t define the word ‘notion’ in that first sentence if you hit them in the head with a dictionary.

To me, the benefit of taking things a bit slower really is just a matter of common sense. Speeding down the highway will get you some place quickly, but you can miss a lot of the sights along the way. Likewise, speeding through the days of your life might help you get more things done, but you can miss the point of it all, along the way.

Spring will soon be here. Many of us in the North are looking forward to budding trees, green grass, and flowers. I know I am. I want to get out there and enjoy the warmer weather and brighter days just as soon as they arrive. (I’m a terrible gardener, and am already trying to figure out some way to actually make a few tomatoes grow this year.) I want to enjoy those sunny days slowly, deliberately, and do my best to do the same with whatever remaining times I have with my family and friends. Those warm days and family moments won’t last forever. Of that I am abundantly aware. I don’t intend to run through them.

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